ONEONTA, 10/03/12 – Veterans throughout the state will be able to display their veteran status proudly on their drivers’ licenses under legislation (S.6799) signed into law today. The new legislation was co-sponsored by Senator James L. Seward (R/C/I–Oneonta) and inspired in part by a request from a proud serviceman from the 51st district.
“This legislation is a straightforward method that will identify veterans, who have put their lives on the line to protect our freedoms, and help them receive special discounts at businesses statewide, ” said Senator Seward. “Easing the ID process for veterans and businesses who want to provide our brave servicemen and women with a thank you shouldn’t be that difficult.”
Many businesses currently provide a veterans discount, but statewide identification cards are not available, making it difficult for some veterans to take advantage of the offers. While some counties do supply special ID cards, they come at an added expense and layer of administration for counties and veterans alike, and are not uniformly offered.
Roger Surman of Newport (Herkimer County) contacted Senator Seward last fall following a meeting of the local American Legion and requested a standardized veterans insignia be included on drivers’ licenses.
“The brave men and women who have answered the call to service and sacrificed for our well being deserve our thanks and gratitude. This simple step will provide our veterans with a small thank-you,” Seward added.
The law takes effect in one year.
In the meantime, the state Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) will revise its application forms and make other accommodations to handle requests for a veteran status mark.